Saturday, August 25, 2012

United 3 - 2 Fulham

Rafael Carrick Vidic Evra
Valencia Anderson(Giggs) Cleverley Young(Welbeck)
Kagawa(Rooney) RVP

Absolute Beauty by Our New Striker
United started quite badly but managed to turn the result into their favour with a breathtaking first half performance. Kagawa was imperious behind RVP while the latter scored a sublime volley. I've seen a compilation of Robin's goals at Arsenal and I must say that volleys are his speciality. If I'm honest I expected van Persie to be more involved in the game but, I guess, that goal was enough today. Kagawa scored a Chicharito type of goal while Rafael headed in the third after a very good build up. We were cruising but somehow our players decided to switch off during the second half and let Fulham get back into the game with probably one of the silliest goals we'll concede all season. Our goalie has to be blamed for their second goal but to be fair to him, he did produce some very very good saves. 

Kagawa looks like a very good buy
The first half was a joy to watch. Valencia and Kagawa were our best  players. Attacking wise, Rafael was excellent but he's still prone to that customary rash challenge at the back. He still has to develop his defensive skills because Fulham's winger did get past Rafa a tad too easy on some occasions. Carrick did his best but we badly need his killer passes in the middle of the park. Cleverley manages to put in a decent pass every now and then but he's nowhere near Carrick. Vidic still looks a bit rusty but that's understandable. He'll improve with time. Astonishingly, Evra looked quite good today. I'm not sure whether that's down to Fulham having a shite right winger or because the pressure exerted from buying a new left back is paying its dividends. But it's been a while since I've seen Evra have a good game, although it's nothing to get excited about. 

First mistake of the season by David. Let's hope there aren't much more to follow
In midfield Anderson managed to look his usual self. Running around like an overweight mad man and giving me a scare or two with some sloppy passes. Needs to improve. Cleverley was decent while Valencia put in countless of decent balls into the box which weren't finished by our strikers. Young wasn't spectacular but managed to get an assist. We DO look a bit weak in the middle of the park. This is proven by the fact that the best players on the pitch during our first two games were the opposing midfielders. Fellaini was the best player last Monday and Dembele was excellent today as well. That Dembele guy should have been one of Fergie's acquisitions this Summer IMO. 

At the front, Kagawa was excellent while van Persie justified Fergie's decision to start him with a wonderful volley. Our sub Giggsy put in a decent shift in midfield, Welbeck was barely given a sniff of the ball while Rooney still looks miles off his best. I don't think his injury is anything serious so he should be OK for next Sunday(UPDATED: I've just heard Fergie's interview and he said Roo will be out for 4 weeks)

Although it wasn't as comfortable as I thought it would be, I think we've got a very good team. In fact I think that this is probably one of the best squads we ever had. Today we had the luxury of not starting players like Welbeck, Rooney, Chicharito, Scholesy and Nani. They would be automatic starters in most premier league teams.  Our main concern is our defense but that concern will, hopefully, be eased with the return of our injured defenders. If this match is an indication of what lies ahead in this year's premier league, then I'm not too looking forward. However, we WILL get better. Bring on Southampton. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Everton 1 - 0 United

De Gea
Valencia Carrick Vidic Evra
 Cleverley(Anderson) Scholes 
Nani(Young) Kagawa Rooney
Welbeck (RVP)

Encouraging performance from Kagawa
So my excitement for the new season was dashed abruptly by an awesome football player sporting a funny wig. Yes, I'm referring to Fellaini. He was absolutely exceptional today. He's a player we might need. I'm hearing a lot of rumors about Kaka, but the Brazilian is a luxury we could do without. Our midfield was made to look like bunch of amateurs by today's man of the match. Fergie sign Fellaini up? Please? 

Enough with Fellaini. What went wrong today? 
1.) Carrick & Valencia were given a torrid time, they cannot defend. 
2.) Rooney is still very rusty. In fact Wayne Rooney had the lowest pass completion of any of the outfield starters for Manchester United vs Everton
3.) Our midfielders were physically weak compared to Everton's 
4.) Nani was horrendous
5.) We couldn't put in a decent cross

RVP created a good chance for Kagawa
Probably Kagawa's performance. He did very little wrong and tried to keep things simple. On one time his link up play with Roo was quite good albeit not perfect. That will take time to be perfected but the man from Japan looks quite promising. Another positive was De Gea's brilliant performance. His instinct saves kept us in the match and if it wasn't for him we'd have witnessed an embarrassing defeat similar to Liverpool's. 

We are usually slow starters to I'm not too worried about today's result. What really worries me is the injury list. Yes, that dreaded injury list which haunted us throughout last season is back and is ever growing yet again. Rio, Smalling, Evans & Jones are all out so we'll probably have to see more poor defensive performances in the upcoming games. We're already trailing City and Chelsea but there's no need to worry, Man Utd have won the PL title in 2 of the 3 previous seasons where they've lost their opening game (1992-93 & 1995-96). Having watched both City and Chelsea during the weekend, I don't think they're much better than us. City played at home to newly promoted Southampton and were given a few scares while I honestly think that Wigan were better than Chelsea. Today the best team won but we'll be just fine. United! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Van Persie joins United!

So this Summer’s longest transfer saga has FINALLY come to an end yesterday evening when United’s official website confirmed that Robin van Persie had decided that the grass is greener at Old Trafford.

This is probably our biggest signing since Dimitar Berbatov joined our club for £30m. This signing of RVP is quite similar to Berbatov’s arrival. Our Bulgarian was on fire with Tottenham prior to agreeing a deal with our club and was on the wrong end of his 20’s. Robin has had a fascinating season with Arsenal and turned 29 last week. I wouldn’t say Berbatov was a huge hit at Old Trafford. Some of his play was breathtaking but he missed quite a few sitters and portrayed himself as a lazy player. I just hope Robin van Persie’s career at United pans out a little different from that of Dimitar.  

Do we need RVP?
In my opinion, what we really needed is a midfielder. A midfield enforcer, to be precise. We were decent up front. Rooney is world class and I’m a huge admirer of young Danny Welbeck. Chicharito is not bad either, although he obviously lacks the technical abilities that his fellow strikers have in abundance. Berbatov is a decent 4th striker as well but I don’t think he’ll be at our club come September. BUT I'm not complaining! RVP definitely falls into the category of ‘World Class’. His acquisition will form a mouthwatering partnership with Roo and it makes up for an exciting season ahead. I just hope Welbeck’s development is not halted because of van Persie’s arrival.  

RVP was one of just three current Arsenal players who I really admire. Wilshere and Chamberlain are the others. I wouldn't mind if one or both Englishmen follow RVP's footsteps in the near future ;)

Anyway, overall I’m delighted we are still able to attract top talent. Let’s hope van Persie continues the form that made him one of the most fearsome strikers in the league last season. I just can’t wait to see Rooney, Kagawa, Valencia, Nani and van Persie in action at once. I’ve got a feeling that we’ll be treated with quite a few goals this season! Welcome to Old Trafford Robin! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

5 Years On!

So 5 years ago (4th August) I decided to start a blog about the mighty Manchester United. This last year proved to be the most successful for this blog, mostly thanks to the constant promotion that Anna, from Giggsy's facebook page, has given to it. I've written 60 posts during the past year with the most read post being 'Kagawa and other Transfer News' posted on the 5th of June (685 views). The blog has amassed 11,000 views during the past year, 5000 more views than the previous year. Below are a few more stats that I am willing to bore you with. 

People from 100+ different states and countries have visited this blog during the past year.

Top 10 all time most viewed posts

Somehow, the most views during the past 5 years came from the United States. The Glazers must've checked it out

Enough with the shameless boasting and back to what really matters. Manchester United.

Preseason Update
Our team didn't really set the world alight during this year's pre-season games. Compared to previous years, there has been a goal drought and that is probably because most of our attacking players didn't take part in any of the preseason games.....yet. Rooney, Nani, Young & Welbeck have only just joined the group and will take part in today's friendly vs Valerenga. 

Meanwhile the press is still linking us with Moura and RVP. I'm not entirely sure we need the latter. I'd rather give Danny Welbeck a chance to keep progressing, because he's got some serious technical ability. With respect to Moura, I've never seen him play but people liken him to a young Ronaldo. If he's got 10% of Ronaldo's ability, then I'd happily welcome him on board. 

The final countdown begins. Can't wait for the new season.